Immigrant Status and the Value of Statistical Life

36 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2009 Last revised: 27 Nov 2012

Joni Hersch

Vanderbilt University - Law School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University - Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics

Date Written: April 22, 2009

Abstract

Using data from the Current Population Survey and the New Immigrant Survey, this paper examines the common perception that immigrants are concentrated in high risk jobs for which they receive little wage compensation. Compared to native U.S. workers, non-Mexican immigrants are not at higher risk and have substantial values of statistical life. However, Mexican immigrants incur much higher fatality risks than native U.S. workers and do not receive wage compensation for these risks. Mexican immigrants who do not understand English fare especially poorly. The evidence is consistent with Mexican immigrants facing different wage offer curves.

Keywords: value of statistical life, immigrants, fatality risks, risk, compensating differentials, immigration, Mexican immigrants

JEL Classification: J17, J31, J61

Suggested Citation

Hersch, Joni and Viscusi, W. Kip, Immigrant Status and the Value of Statistical Life (April 22, 2009). Journal of Human Resources, Forthcoming; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 09-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1394360 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1394360

Joni Hersch (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7717 (Phone)
615-322-6631 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/go/phdlawecon

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7715 (Phone)
615-322-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

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